Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spiced Up Frozen Treat, and a Winner!

Recipe below: Cardamom Peach Buttermilk Sherbet

Let’s get right to it, shall we?  We have a winner!  Congratulations lmurley2000, you are the lucky winner of a $40 gift certificate, courtesy of CSN Stores!  A big thanks to everyone who entered!  It was fun and informative for me to read what recipes have connected most with you.


Sad you didn’t win?  Don’t be!  I've got something to cheer you up.  Erm. Well actually, this will only cheer you up if you own an ice cream maker...or if you know someone who has one you can steal borrow....or if you live in San Diego and don't mind stopping by my house.  Otherwise, you're totally out of luck.  Bummer!  And also, if you've got the funds, buy one!  You will not be sorry.  Trust me.  My freezer hasn't been without some form of frozen treat since I got mine.

If you are the lucky owner of your very own shiny ice cream maker (or have the means to acquire one), do I ever have a treat for you - in the form of sherbet!


What?  Sherbet doesn’t get your heart pumping?  Right.  Because you haven’t had this sherbet.  One bite, and I guarantee the mere mention of this frozen treat will set your heart aflutter from now on.  And what the heck is sherbet anyway?  And what’s the difference between the names of all those mixtures you churn in an ice cream maker and enjoy frozen?  Well, being far too lazy to look it up speaking from my rear end vast culinary knowledge, I can tell you that ice cream is cream based (and if you consider frozen custard also ice cream (which I do (because who responds “I do! I do!” to the question “Who wants frozen custard?!” (but frozen custard is by far the superior product, calories aside (can you still read this? (let’s see if I can properly unparenthesize myself here…)))))yaaaay), frozen yogurt is yogurt based, sherbet is milk based, and sorbet is the kind of “everything else” category but that I most associate with juice. Do I have that right?

So, if you were able to navigate that bit of mental fun, you know that sherbet is just a milk based ice cream like dessert.  I know. That’s not titillating you yet.  But this doesn’t just use any old milk…it uses buttermilk.  Squeee! 

Squee…? Really?  Still nothing?  Ok, maybe I’m alone in my complete obsession with all  things buttermilk – it’s tangy in a good way and tenderizes like nobodies business – but trust me, it definitely brings something special to the sherbet party. 

Originally this started out as just a good ol’ peach buttermilk sherbet.  With peaches at their absolute peak right now in San Diego, this recipe practically jumped off the screen at me.  I had the mixture fully processed and ready for its chill when I had an idea.  The flavor was good of course – you can’t go wrong with peaches and buttermilk – but it could use a little kicking up.  I need spice in my life wherever I can get it!  And there’s a certain spice that I’ve found pairs beautifully with peaches – cardamom

Yes, cardamom.  That scary spice I was touting when I made zucchini bread.  I said then that having this spice in your pantry would pay off, and here’s where!  If you’ve never tried peaches and cardamom together, I would highly recommend you make it your life’s mission.  Starting now.  Peaches have this light and delicate flavor that is almost floral, and cardamom has the amazing ability to really stand out as an identifiable flavor without overpowering the more delicate flavors of, say, a peach!  Move over cookies and milk, get a room peanut butter and jelly, peaches and cardamom are here!

So now when I say cardamom peach buttermilk sherbet, does that beeping heart rate monitoring machine thingy they use in tv hospital dramas start beeping a little faster?  Phew!  Finally!  Because let me tell you, this sherbet is awesome.  It's super creamy and the flavor is out of this world.  The buttermilk adds a nice compliment to the peach, again, without overpowering its delicate flavor, and adds a little complexity that keeps it from being boring.  I added a little cinnamon with the cardamom because I thought it rounded out the flavor nicely and didn't make the cardamom so much of a shock to the palette.  And since this uses milk instead of cream, you get the bonus of a healthier dessert!  Adding a little alcohol helps keep the texture soft and creamy because it doesn't freeze (at freezer temps anyway).  I chose a spot of rum because that's what got my taste buds dancing at the time, but you could always swap it out for a tablespoon or two of vodka for the same effect without the flavor. 

So did I do it?  Did I cheer you up?

Cardamom Peach Buttermilk Sherbet
Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes about 1 quart

4 large ripe peaches, pitted and cut to bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 TB light corn syrup
3 TB fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup light rum

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the peaches, sugar, and honey to a gentle simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until peaches are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Once cooled, puree the peach mixture in a food processor.  You can strain the mixture at this point through a fine mesh strainer if you would like, but I wanted the solids.
  2. Transfer the peach mixture to a medium bowl and whisk in the corn syrup, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon.  Add the buttermilk, milk, and rum. Cover, and refrigerate for about 4 hours (or until it is chilled under 40 degrees).
  3. Slowly pour the sherbet mixture into your ice cream maker and churn until thickened and delicious.  Transfer to an airtight container and store in your freezer.
Note: Make sure to chill the mixture to the proper temperature, or it won't churn up nice and creamy, but will instead freeze up icy.  Just be patient!  I actually over-churned this (as in, it churned too long and then melted back to a liquid) on my first attempt and I had to refreeze my ice cream bowl and try the whole thing again the next day!  Good thing it was worth the wait!


  1. mmm! I need to try this sometime. I love sherbet!

    I actually made frozen yogurt tonight that did not taste like crap (I've had no luck in the past)! And I didn't use a recipe :) Just a container of strawberry Chobani greek yogurt, milk and sugar! Oh and some rum! I saw on Good Eats that adding booze to your frozen treats keeps it from getting too hard. Yay, for booze :)

  2. I alway look at your recipes and print them. I just need spare time to make them. And Kelly ^ I LOVE LOVE LOVE good eats! He has the greatest tips- like booze ;-)

  3. Kelly, yeah, that's a pretty well-known trick, but I saw the episode you're talking about! Loved it! Good Eats is just an amazing show, I am such an Alton Brown fan. It's actually the first show that got my husband more into my cooking adventures, and it was at first the only time he'd let me watch Food Network when he was in the room! hehe. And I will always tout that show as being a great tool for convincing husbands that expensive kitchen equipment is necessary. Thank you, Alton, for my Le Creuset dutch oven! I owe it all to your dutch oven episode!

    You know, I haven't had success yet with fro yo either! Congrats!!!

    Katie, just the fact that you print my recipes makes me all swollen in the head. Thanks! :)

  4. dude, i never knew the difference between sorbet and sherbet. of course, i never really cared because i was too busy ignoring the sherbet/sorbet flavors at the ice house and nomming on my mint chip. and then occasionally losing my scoop as it fell off the cone. waaaaah!

    oh, and rob bought me a pressure cooker. this should be interesting.

  5. I do have an ice cream maker... and I would love to try this! I have yet to take it out of the box actually... gulp.

  6. This sounds great! Good to discover your website actually, as I have a similar history. Was overweight and now 60 lbs lighter, married and mother of two...still in my twenties. You rock and keep up the good work!